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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  November 10, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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hang with it, still going. also wearing pants which is very cool. >> wow. that's it for us on it's always on. (taps playing) >> couric: tonight, honoring the fallen at fort hood. >> every evening that the sun sets on a tranquil town, every dawn that a flag is unfurled, every moment that an american enjoys life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that is their legacy. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. it is one of the toughest and most important duties any president faces: comforting the families of america's fallen heroes and the nation that grieves along with them.
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that's what president obama did today at fort hood where 12 soldiers and one civilian were killed in cold blood, allegedly by another soldier. some 15,000 mourners gathered at this country's largest military base for a memorial service. before it began, the president and mrs. obama met privately with the families of those who died and with some of the 29 wounded. following the service, the obamas visited some of those still in the hospital. national correspondent dean reynolds is at fort hood with more about this day of remembrance. >> reporter: their helmets and boots are are what they left. soldiers slain on american soil, volunteers turned victims. >> as we wrap our arms around the families of our fallen comrades, i would say to you all grieve with us, don't grieve for us. those who have fallen did so in the service of their country. >> reporter: and yet, while military families steel
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themselves for the worst, no one was prepared for what the president today called the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. >> no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts, no just and loving god looks upon them with favor. >> reporter: it was the first attempt for obama to heal the nation he now leads. >> here at fort hood we pay tribute to 13 men and women who were not able to escape the horror of war even in the comfort of home. >> reporter: ten were men, three were women, and between them they had 19 children with another on the way. they ranged in age from 19 to 62. >> staff sergeant amy krueger was an athlete in high school. private first class aaron nemelka was an eagle scout. private first class michael pearson loved his family and loved his music. >> reporter: and when the sergeant major called the roll, the absences broke the heart. >> specialist herd.
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>> hear, sergeant major. >> specialist hunt. >> reporter: specialist jason hunt was 22. he was married for three months to wife jennifer and had reenlisted on his birthday in august in iraq. suddenly a widow, jennifer moved past the portraits arrayed before the crowd, coming to his, she was overcome by a moment of grief and the certainty of many more to come. today she remembered the boy she said the army made into a man. >> he really wanted to advance and make it his career and make it a life long thing. i just want everyone to know that jason was a wonderful person and his life ended way too soon and god definitely took an angel from this earth. >> reporter: many of the 27 who were wounded and could walk were here-- on shoulders, canes, and
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crutches. 15 are too wounded to walk. two are in intensive care and fighting for their lives. amid the tears, though, came calls to persevere. >> the nature of our business demands that we rise above the fear and doubt generated by this horrific event. >> reporter: today, the army drew on all its traditions to bid farewell to the fallen, while remaining determined to accomplish the healing here that is so desperately needed. but the business of the army goes on, and tonight some 300 soldiers will be returning here after a year's deployment in iraq. and they will be welcomed home as heroes. katie? >> couric: dean reynolds at fort hood. dean, thanks very much for that very moving report tonight. while the president mentioned every soldier who died by name, he did not name the fellow soldier who allegedly killed
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them, major nidal malik hasan, recovering tonight in a military hospital from his wounds. justice correspondent bob orr has the latest on the investigation of hasan and his ties to an anti-american cleric. >> reporter: radical imam anwar al-awlaki has been on the radar of u.s. intelligence for nearly a decade. so the joint terrorism task force snapped to attention last december with intercepted messages between al-awlaki and a u.s. army officer. officials say over six months, major nidal malik hasan traded ten to 20 messages with the controversial cleric who has ties to al qaeda and the 9/11 hijackers. but officials deemed the communications benign and the f.b.i. concluded hasan presented no imminent threat. nothing suggested violence or an incitement to violence, one senior official said. "we didn't have enough for a preliminary investigation." in a review of hasan's military files, it suggested the research was consistent with him being a
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licensed psychiatrist treating soldiers. the military had a representative on the task force who apparently agreed with the assessment, but a senior defense official says the pentagon and army knew nothing of hasan's contacts with al-awlaki until after the shootings. in hindsight, critics question whether the government too quickly dismissed hasan as a threat. >> they reach a conclusion based on just an overview and a cursory view of the evidence and said "we don't have to worry about this guy." >> reporter: there were reasons to worry. hasan received poor performance reviews at walter reed, frequently criticized the wars in iraq and afghanistan and in june, 2007, hasan gave a shocking presentation to colleagues. using slides, hasan argued forcing muslim soldiers to fight wars in muslim countries puts them at risk to hurting and killing believers unjustly and he ominously warned of adverse events. yet it's not clear that anyone inside the military had a
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complete picture of hasan's growing radicalization. >> with somebody taking an objective look at who this individual was, what he was becoming and what the potential was that he would act out and be violent. >> reporter: now the president has ordered a thorough review, demanding all of the agencies involved determine if once again somehow the government has failed to connect critical dots. katie? >> couric: bob orr reporting from washington. bob, thanks. since taking office, president obama has made a point of writing personal condolence letters to the families of servicemen and women kill nod n two wars. britain's prime minister does the same. but one of his letters failed to ease a mother's anguish. in fact, it made it worse. from london tonight, here's richard roth. >> reporter: the british pay tribute to their war dead with public ceremony like the procession today when the bodies of six more soldiers were brought home from afghanistan. and every grieving family gets a private tribute, too, a personal condolence letter from the prime minister traditionally written by hand.
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but the mother of 20-year-old jamie janes, who was killed in afghanistan in october, says the letter she got turned a tribute into an insult. >> when i read it, it just... i didn't even get halfway through it, i just threw it. it's just an absolute insult. >> reporter: pen manship was part of the problem in the handwritten note from gordon brown which seemed to be addressed to a mrs. james with an "m" instead of in." offended she called a newspaper which claimed there were 25 spelling mistakes in the hard-to-read note and published it calling it "shameful." when the prime minister phoned the grieving mother to set things straight, she taped him and the paper put that on its web site. >> i know how strongly you feel... ( >> no, mr. brown, listen to me. >> he listened for 13 minutes while she berated his penmanship and leadership. >> how would you like it if one
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of your children god forbid went to a war and because of lack-- lack-- of helicopters, lack of equipment your child bled to death. >> the last thing on my mind was to cause any offense to jackie jacqui janes. >> today with a poppy on his lapel, a symbol the british wear each november to honor their war dead, brown was also wearing his heart on his sleeve. >> i'm a shy person, but i also do feel the pain of people who are grieving. >> reporter: the prime minister admits he has a problem with penmanship. with 232 british deaths in afghanistan and public support falling, he also has a problem with the war. richard roth, cbs news, london. >> couric: how to the h1n1 flu. the world health organization said today it hopes to begin shipping the first of 50 million donated doses of vaccine to poor countries by the end of the month. one nation in dire need is
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afghanistan and we caution you, some of the images in this report by mandy clark are quite graphic. >> reporter: six-year-old layequa isn't breathing, her heart has stopped, her brain is badly damaged. she's the latest victim of afghanistan's h1n1 outbreak. what do you think her chance of survival is? >> her condition is not good and she's about to die. >> reporter: layequa is from the heart of kabul, at the center of the h1n1 outbreak, with over 450 confirmed cases. schools and universities have been closed, large public gatheringings have been banned and people have been advised to wear masks. kabul's not the healthiest environment at the best of times there's no infrastructure for sewage or clean water, perfect conditions far flu pandemic to spiral out of control. afghanistan's latest enemy has also hit over 300 foreign troops. 140 suspected cases are americans. inoculation for h1n1 for u.s.
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troops started today. but for afghans, there is no vaccine yet. despite a state of emergency being declared, the public health minister says afghanistan needs a million doses of vaccine and says he'll quit if the international community doesn't step in to help. >> that was a result of my humiliation because i will not be able to save the life of my people. >> reporter: layequa is just one more afghan he can't save. she cannot breathe on her own. her last breath will be hand pumped by a nurse. after eight years and billions of dollars of foreign aid, the hospital doesn't have enough resources to ease the pain of layequa and the hundreds of others like her. mandy clark, cbs news, kabul. >> couric: and coming up next here on the "cbs evening news," he terrorized the washington area seven years ago, tonight, one of the d.c. snipers faces
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final judgment. exhibit she wants to see more than just the ladies room, so today, she's talking to her doctor about overactive bladder. erin wants to get up and go without always worrying about where to "go." if you have overactive bladder symptoms, today is the day to talk to your doctor and ask about prescription toviaz. one toviaz pill a day significantly reduces sudden urges and accidents over 24 hours, all day and all night. plus, toviaz comes with a simple plan with tips on food and drink choices and training your bladder. if you have certain stomach problems or glaucoma, or cannot empty your bladder, you should not take toviaz. toviaz can cause blurred vision and drowsiness so use caution when driving or doing unsafe tasks. the most common side effects are dry mouth and constipation. joan wants to sit by the window and be closer to the clouds than the bathroom.
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nationwide. bob orr spoke with one of his first victims. >> reporter: paula rough a had just locked up his restaurant and climbed into the his car to head home. >> the window exploded and shots came in. >> reporter: five shots, point-blank range. where were you hit? >> i was hit through this arm, i was in in the chest, the stomach, the diaphragm and my spine. >> reporter: the shooter left laruffa for dead, stealing his computer and $3,500, money that would be used to finance the coming carnage. >> we got something that sounded like gunshots. >> reporter: one month later, october 3, 2002, suburban washington exploded. >> a man has been killed in front of me! >> a man just fell in a parking lot. >> a lady is not moving. >> reporter: four people shot execution style in broad daylight, each killed by a single sniper round. >> we weren't sure if it was a terrorist-style attack, we weren't sure how many shooters we had out there. >> reporter: assistant chief drew tracy led the swat team
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response. >> people were terrified. people were ducking behind cars and people not going to work and some children not going to schools. >> reporter: over the next three weeks, six more people were gunned down and two others-- including a middle school student-- were wounded before police finally identified the snipers and cornered them at a maryland rest stop. chief tracy vividly recalls the take-down of john allen muhammad and his teenaged partner, lee boyd malvo. >> i walked over towards muhammad and when i looked at him, he had a look about him that was just pure evil. >> reporter: muhammad and malvo were both convicted of murder. malvo is serving life in prison without parole. muhammad faces execution tonight. does it matter to you if he's put to death? does that matter? >> in this situation, yes. >> reporter: paul laruffa agrees. >> if you're going to have a death penalty, he certainly deserves it. >> reporter: but says he has no interest in watching muhammad
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die. >> will aattend? no, i won't be there. i don't need to have a day in my life taken up by that. >> reporter: laruffa's wounds have healed and he sold his restaurant. but he kept the car. >> i'm keeping it because in a way it's my lucky car. it saved my life, maybe. >> reporter: one lasting reminder seven years later of a terrifying crime spree people here cannot forget. bob orr, cbs news, montgomery county, maryland. bonus on every single purchase. what you do with it is up to you. what will you get back with your cash back? now more than ever, it pays to discover.
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>> couric: our chief investigative correspondent armen keteyian told us last night about the failure to prosecute many rape cases. according to a justice department report today, in nearly 28,000 active cases between 2003 and 2007, the evidence gathered following the alleged rape was never even tested. tonight, armen takes his exclusive investigation one step further and examine it is real-life consequences of evidence piling up at crime labs across the country. >> reporter: this 24-year-old single mother from enid, oklahoma, who we will call kathy told police she was raped in july by this man, kory mitchell. >> i tried to crawl away as fast as i could and when i got to the door he pushed me back down on the bed. >> reporter: kathy knew mitchell through her ex-boyfriend. what she didn't know was that mitchell had been accused of rape more than a year before. >> i knew i couldn't trust him because he didn't seem that way. >> reporter: mitchell, who denies the charges, was not arrested for the first alleged rape. police say they were waiting on
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lab results from the rape kit. but the results tying mitchell to the case arrived on july 8, more than one year after the crime and one day after kathy says mitchell raped her. he has been charged with both rapes. >> i don't want him to do it to somebody else. >> reporter: now a five month cbs news investigation of 24 cities and states has found more than 6,000 rape kits from active investigations waiting months, even years, to be tested. on average, six months in rhode island, alabama, kentucky, and missouri. up to three years in alaska. one state-- louisiana-- has rape kits dating as far back as 2001 waiting to be tested. >> what's the point of sending a rape kit to a crime lab for testing if you can't get to it for, say, eight years? >> reporter: senator patrick leahy says it wasn't supposed to be this way. >> it worries me that this is not a high enough priority in
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some parts of the country in law enforcement. >> reporter: in 2003, he co-sponsored federal legislation allocating three quarters of a billion dollars to clear the rape kit backlog, but still delays remain. >> if they don't catch the person on this rape, they're going to commit another one. >> reporter: few know better than david lisak, an expert on rape at the university of massachusetts. he says research shows 71% of rapists are repeat offenders. >> the number of assaults that they commit can be anywhere from in non-stranger cases somewhere in the neighborhood of three, four, five, six offenses at least per rapist. >> reporter: even with accused repeat offenders there are delays. prosecutors had to wait six months for lab results before they could charge this man with three rapes in missouri. and because of a backlog at the louisiana crime lab, this convicted sex offender was just charged in a rape from 2006. both men deny the charges. >> we had a sense that there were perpetrators out there who
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were not being followed up on. >> we pulled up five other cases. >> reporter: that's why in minneapolis, county attorney steve redding started digging through old cases where the victim didn't know her attacker and for one reason or another the kits were never tested. he sent 35 kits to the lab. patterns emerged. a case from 1998 matching d.n.a. from a 2007 case. >> do i think that that person has not committed any sexual assaults in between those nine years? not on my life as a prosecutor for 30 years. >> reporter: in the end, redding got d.n.a. matches on eight of the 35 cases, charging all eight with rape. further proof that justice can be found in these kits if only they are tested and tested in time. armen keteyian, cbs news, new york.
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greenfield. >> kareem with the hook. >> reporter: when you've spent your life as one of the best basketball players who ever lived, winning championships in high school, in college, and in the pros... >> oh, my god! >> reporter: scoring more points than anyone else, immortalized in sports history and on film... >> i know you! you're kareem abdul jabbar! >> reporter: you don't expect to come suddenly face to face with your mortality. >> i started having hot flashes and sweats and i wasn't a candidate for menopause, you know? so trying to figure out what that was all about. >> reporter: in the middle of a busy life, best-selling author, special coach for the l.a. lakers, parent, abdul-jabbar learned last december he had a rare form of cancer. >> what siff p.h. positive chronic myeloid leukemia.
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which is an aberration in your white blood cells. >> reporter: abdul-jabbar josh beckett bar lost a grandfather to cancer, almost lost his father to the same illness but for kareem abdul jabbar the news was a lot less grim. >> ten years ago this was a very serious life-threatening diagnosis. the only treatment was a bone mare retransplant. patients now take a pill a day and can eliminate every low lech already a trace of the disease. >> reporter: that hopeful diagnose is why abdul-jabbar is now using his high visibility to go public about his illness. >> it's not intended to be just a grim announcement. i want people to understand that i intend to continue living and doing all the things that i love to do up until the end. and the end is by no means rushing up on me. >> reporter: jeff greenfield, cbs news, new york. >> couric: and that the "cbs evening news." i'm katie couric. thanks for watching.
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see you tomorrow. for now, the news continues at good night. some anger. >> he took part in watching my dad die. i want to watch him die. you know, that's justice to me. >> reporter: to accepting it. >> they have tried him, they convicted him. and they have sentenced him to death. >> reporter: families affected by the sniper attacks react to tonight's upcoming execution of john allen muhammad. >> ten people dieded in our area when they went on the rampage for all of them back in the fall of object, 2002. both attacks span from montgomery and prince george's county to maryland to the district and fredericksburg and fairfax and prince william county in virginia. it is that shooting in prince